Archive for the ‘New Belgium Brewing’ Category

One of my favorite flavors of ice cream is cookie dough, so when New Belgium put out a cookie dough beer, even though I wasn’t sold that it would be great, I wanted to try it.

newbelgiumchocolatechipcookie

ABV: 6%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream beer. This winter, dip into the fridge—not just the freezer—to find a dozen ways to sate your sweet tooth. Our newest collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s brings together two different types of pint-makers for one common goal: to fill your glass with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale. To craft this confection, we dove into our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes for inspiration, and then whipped hefty doses of chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla into a dough-hued blonde ale base. The result is a full-bodied beer that seduces with a perfect balance of vanilla and chocolate, and finishes with just the right amount of sweetness. Put down the spoon, pick up a pint. In celebration of this year’s collaboration, New Belgium and Ben & Jerry’s — both B-Corps — are once again joining forces with Protect Our Winters (POW) to create tangible ways to fight climate change just as they did a year ago. Calling this campaign ‘100 Days to Change Our Ways,’ the three socially minded organizations want the new Administration to make climate change a priority during its first 100 days. To rally support, events will be held in 12 cities across the country with letter-writing stations, POW athletes speaking out about the dangers of climate change, raffles, and of course beer and ice cream.”

Random: Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite.

The body poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated at a moderate pace. It left only a little lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with a decent amount of carbonation. The nose had a lot of vanilla and some nuttiness. It didn’t have a definitive cookie dough flavor. The taste started with some grass and quickly went into lactose, vanilla and some cocoa with milk chocolate chips. It had some doughy malt as well. They nailed the cookie dough note. The body was light with moderate carbonation. It had a quick and sweet finish with white sugar and lactose. The bottle was $1.58, which came to $.13 per ounce. This beer was a bit gimmicky, but I liked the flavor. I wouldn’t want more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

New Belgium has been in the state for over a year now, but I still try to search some of them out. I don’t know if their beers got hyped just because we couldn’t get them in New Jersey or because of the liquid itself, but I was excited to try this beer. I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin beers anymore, but let’s see how this one fared.

pumpkick

ABV: 6%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What’s that bite of tartness doing in a pumpkin beer? Adding the unexpected kick of cranberry juice to brighten this traditionally spiced seasonal ale. Pumpkick is brewed with plenty of pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but it’s the cranberries and touch of lemongrass that send your taste buds sailing.”

Random: I wish I got cranberry juice in the beer.

The brew poured with a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. But, it left a small crown on top of the clear, orange-brown body. There was high carbonation visible. The nose was filled with pumpkin pie and the expected pumpkin pie spice. There was also a significant honey sweetness and brown sugar. The taste was also really sweet. I picked up sweet potato, brown sugar, honey and dark molasses. There was less impact from the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice than the nose, but it was still present. It had a light body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with honey and brown sugar sweetness. A bottle of this was $1.75, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. The beer was good, but the flavors weren’t balanced. It’s not a terrible pumpkin beer, but it’s not one that I would seek out again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Val and I are watching a show that details what happens to tiny house owners after their house is built. We couldn’t live in one of these and I give people a lot of credit who make it work. While watching this, I definitely needed a beer.

fathoppyale

ABV: 6%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For our new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, we teamed up with Firestone Walker from Paso Robles, Calif. A happily hopified Fat Tire thanks to our California friends. First, they created an assertive hop presence and then they added a lager yeast to the Fat Tire recipe. The result? A hoppy amber lager version of Fat Tire with an amplified American hop aroma and flavor. Time for you to hop on this Fat, too.”

Random: I couldn’t live in a place without a real toilet.

The beer poured with a three finger, off white head that was thick and dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, amber color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was quite herbal with a vegetal note that I couldn’t place. It also had grapefruit pith and pine needles. The taste was filled with pine and dry alcohol. It also had a flavor that reminded me of green NyQuil. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a quick, but medicinal finish. The bottle was $1.42, which broke down to $.12 per ounce. This beer was a total miss for me. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

I think that brewers taking chances and reimagining old classics is pretty cool, which is why I bought the New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends mixed pack. I’ve already reviewed a few on the blog, so let’s see how this one is.

fatfunkale

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For our new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, we teamed up with Allagash Brewing from Portland, Maine. Who wants the funk? Fat Tire wants the funk. Our New England friends at Allagash brought it, taking Fat Tire back to its Belgian roots with a De Dolle house Belgian yeast strain that adds classic pear, banana and spice to Fat Tire’s malty goodness. They then bottle-conditioned the beer with Brettanomyces Allagagensis for a spicy finish. Get your funk on.”

Random: Every time I see a horse in the winter with a blanket on, it makes me think of a funky beer.

The beer poured with a huge, four finger, off white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and mahogany colored with light carbonation. The nose was lightly funky with green apples, white grapes and caramel malt. The taste had white grapes up front and less funk than was apparent on the nose. It also had green apple skins and light toasted malt. It had a medium body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with white grapes and green apples. A bottle of this was $1.42, which broke down to $.12 an ounce. I thought that this was an interesting take on a classic, but I wouldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Tonight’s selection is another one from the New Belgium Fat Tire mixed pack. I always think it’s risky making an apple flavored beer since apple can be a mark of an off flavor. Let’s see how it was.

fatsourappleale

ABV: 5.9%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For our new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, we teamed up with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) from Portland, Ore. Our heroes at HUB pedaled Fat Tire straight to the apple orchard. This slightly sour homage starts out with a snap of tartness, courtesy of Lactobacillus and apple juice, then gets balanced with Fat Tire-inspired malty sweetness and a slight herbal bitterness. Nice ride, HUB!”

Random: Green apples are my favorite apples.

The brew poured with a two finger, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and mahogany colored with moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with caramel malt and then went into green apple juice and mineral water. It had a sour note as well. The taste started with tartness and quickly went into green apple peel and green apple juice. It had a hint of green watermelon rind and grapes. The caramel malt came through at the end. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a lengthy and tart green apple finish. I don’t remember how much I paid for the beer, but I thought this beer was a miss. The tartness didn’t blend well with the sweet malt at the end. I won’t be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

I have a soft spot in my heart for mixed twelve packs. I saw this one on sale and had to bring it home and see how they reinterpreted Fat Tire, which I first reviewed in 2013. This is the first one that I cracked open.

fatwildale

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For our new Fat Tire & Friends CollaBEERation Pack, we teamed up with Avery Brewing from Boulder, Colo. Go wild for Fat. Thanks to Boulder’s finest for this unabashedly tropic take on Fat Tire. Avery took a healthy dose of Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Drie to create a Fat Tire spin with a sturdy malt backbone, fruity hop aroma and a tropical pineapple layer. Heed the call of the wild Fat Tire.”

Random: Val is brushing one of the cats and he looks so happy. Who knew cats like brushing so much?

This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that was thick and took awhile to dissipate. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was mahogany and clear with a lot of visible carbonation. The nose had some funk to it with white vinegar. It quickly went into caramel malt. The taste also had a vinegar funk to it with green apple. There was some sweetness that followed up with caramel. After a few sips, there was a dark fruit note that I couldn’t quite place. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with caramel malt. I didn’t know exactly what to do with this beer. Once I got to enjoying the tart and funk that it brought, it went into the sweet aspect. Although I appreciated the fact they were trying to do something different with a classic, but this missed the mark.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I love mixing the flavors of watermelon and lime. Usually, I find it in a salad, but I was curious to try it in a beer.

heavymelon

ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hot summer nights, jam out to the cooling waves of Heavy Melon Ale, our newest seasonal track. Brewed with juicy watermelon and zesty lime peel, this crushable ale rips with a blast of melon notes. Ripened fruit aromas of melon, papaya and citrus climax with an enticing aroma, and set up an invigorating wash of fruity sweetness, grassy bitterness and the slightest touch of tartness. Super crisp and refreshing from start to finish, Heavy Melon Ale shreds through the summer heat.”

Random: This is a summer seasonal.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. A small crown was left on top of the clear, straw-yellow body. It had high carbonation to go with it. The nose had a lot of grain up front and a weird metallic smell. What it didn’t have was a lot of watermelon or lime. Before you think I’m having an old bottle, I actually reviewed this in June. The taste didn’t have the same metallic note, which was a positive. But, the taste had watermelon notes that reminded me more of the rind than the flesh. There was an artificial sweetener note and a tartness that I couldn’t specifically place as lime. There was a lot of grain in the taste as well. The body had medium thickness with was too heavy for the flavors with aggressive carbonation. It had a quick finish with the same watermelon rind. A single bottle was $1.66, which came to $.14 per ounce. Despite the affordable price, I will not be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0